This week, I am teaching kids in our church’s Vacation Bible School. This is always an amazing thrill and a wonderful privilege, and as an even bigger bonus, I get to act weird, goofy, and so unlike a fifty-something year old around the kids!
I love to teach, and not just kids, but all ages. It’s the “aha!” moments that get to me, that keep me going to grow even more in my teaching content and techniques. But if you’re like me, sometimes I need a time of refreshment, a time to recharge and reevaluate my effectiveness in how I teach and lead my group. In other words, I need to be taught.
It’s for this reason that I have always made it a priority to grow in my relationship with Christ. Even in my days when I served as a senior pastor, I would listen to sermons, read books, and even participate in Bible studies that I didn’t lead. It was just flat-out healthy, something that was good for my soul.
That said, even if you have led a group for many years, you still need to be taught. Everyone does. You might want to attend another group for a week or participate in a weekly training for group leaders, but the chance to learn from others is essential. Here are five reasons why it’s important to be taught:
- You might see new teaching techniques. Although our message of the Bible never changes, there might be ways that you can share it even more effectively. Being a part of a group can help you see other ways to share God’s Word than what you are used to doing.
- You’ll enjoy fellowship with new people. Although we love relationships within our groups, it’s always healthy to get to know others. You might consider visiting another group and enjoying the new experience. After all, being in a new group even for one day might help you get familiar with people you haven’t had the chance to know before.
- To learn from another person. Let’s face it: we don’t know it all. Never will. It’s helpful, then, to study the Bible with others. Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:2: “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Being willing to learn from others is edifying and will likely make you even more effective as a group leader.
- To give your group a chance to hear another voice. It’s not a bad thing to have another person lead your group, particularly if you are trying to develop them to start a new group out of your own. Consider letting another person lead your group occasionally. This can be helpful for your group, your new leader, and for you.
- To have a time of rest. God took a day of rest after creating the universe. Jesus would often go off to a place of solitude to pray. Rest is important. Even one week off from teaching can be meaningful, so take it if you can.
Teachers need to be taught, too. If you haven’t had the chance to grow and learn from others in a group setting, maybe it’s time to do so. Even one day away to grow is useful, making you more effective in the ministry in which God has placed you.
Dr. Fran Trascritti (@frantras) has pastored churches for over 23 years and now serves with the Explore the Bible team at Lifeway. You can reach him by emailing Fran.Trascritti@Lifeway.com
Resurrect Christianity says
Thank you Dr. Trascritti.
New teaching techniques, new faces, fresh perspectives and new ideas.
I can attest to using and benefitting greatly from those exact same techniques. All very valuable attributes that can often turn a boring and dull lesson into a fun learning experience.
I would also give hope and encouragement to those children and adults who are currently sat in the learner’s seat.
Those who are struggling to make sense of what the teacher is saying.
We learn by teaching that which we struggle to grasp.
It is widely accepted amongst the teaching profession that learners actually learn more and retain more if they are given the opportunity to teach what they have learned to others.
This more than simply using confirmation via Q&A.
The concept can be appear quite alien to most but it is a very effective training technique used within the military. A new student to first aid, and having been taught the basic skills, will be asked to deliver a lesson to others on those basic skills just learned.
Nothing hones the knowledge, even as a leaner, more than becoming a teacher.
We also see this being played out for real as a Christian’s life testimony is gained as a learner of Christian life and from their walk with Christ. If they were to be bold enough and share in their Christian journey as that learner then they would help others going through the same.
Fran Trascritti says
Thank you, friend. I love the idea of allowing others who are gifted to have a chance to grow. Obviously, we want to be sure that they are ready, but one idea is to use the daily discipleship guide to let an assistant group leader take a portion (like one of the session points) while the group leader is present. This will allow them to grow and stretch while being under the care of a group leader. Thanks for sharing!